by Parita Shah: Dr. Usui’s Reiki philosophy is simple and realistic, and includes the Precepts, or kotodamas, which invoke the energy of words. Here’s why the Precepts are relevant today and how you can bring them into your life…
Dr. Usui founded the system of Reiki in 1922, after seeking to share mind and body wellness. The system is founded on five foundational premises:
- Mantras and symbols
- Practicing mindfulness through the Reiki Precepts
Although Reiki is often known as the magical channeling of energy through hands, it is seldomly known for its practical philosophy. The Precepts of Reiki are kotodamas, or sacred words that carry energy. It is said that by repeating the Precepts, you not only create intentions, but you invoke the spirit of those words.
The Precepts of Reiki
The following are the Precepts of Reiki.
- Just for today, I will not worry.
- Just for today, I will not be angry.
- Just for today, I will be grateful.
- Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
- Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.
Whether you practice Reiki or not, the Precepts offer simple teachings that can guide your day. By reciting them in meditation, or contemplating their meaning, you can ground the mind, align with higher frequencies, and live with more meaning.
Here are some ways in which the Precepts can transform your mind away from anxiety, boredom, or worry.
Helps You Stay Present
The phrase “Just for today” reminds you to take each challenge one day, or even one moment, at a time. It suggests that you release the guilt, fear, and anger around the past and future, so that you can truly experience what is right in front of you. Staying in the moment allows you to fully process life as it’s happening. You also begin to reap the gratitude, fulfillment, and joy of today, without wishing for better.
Anchors the Mind
The Precepts give your mind a framework to work with. It creates boundaries that guide you in managing your projections. As you recite the Precepts, they remind you of the ways in which you are blocking your own peace. They help you take inventory of the thoughts and feelings that weigh you down, so that you begin to release them. The Precepts don’t place harsh expectations of forever transcending your worries, anger, and fear, but rather suggest that you momentarily restore the mind. This makes the Precepts approachable and pragmatic for the 21st century.
The Reiki Principles, also known as gokai, help you shift from lower vibrational emotions, which cause stagnation and disease, to higher vibrational emotions. They remind you of the choice you have in releasing the old. You are not bound to the emotions that you experience but rather can shift your lens. While contemplating how things can be better, you can also be grateful. While acknowledging the hurts of the past, you may also choose to release the worry and anger.
Live with Intentionality
You create guiding posts for your beliefs, feelings, and actions as you recite the Precepts. They steer your day and the way you interact with the world. As you engage with Reiki philosophy, you commit yourself to living from a balanced mind and heart. Although you may not always be free of worry and anger, and hold compassion, diligence, and gratitude, you may notice that you are living with more purpose.
How to Bring the Reiki Precepts into Everyday
The purpose of the Precepts is not to invalidate the feelings that you’re experiencing, nor is it to bypass the challenges that are arising for you. Their purpose is to help you experience peace in the midst of chaos.
Here are some ways to bring the Reiki Precepts into your self-care routine:
1. Check-In with Your Mind and Heart Several Times throughout the Day
Ask yourself, “Am I in the present moment? How am I feeling?” It’s important to remain nonjudgmental and compassionate with yourself as you practice this exercise. There is no right or wrong way of feeling. The goal is not to always feel positive but rather to become aware of what you’re feeling.
2. Start the Day by Reciting the Reiki Precepts
You may print the Reiki Precepts, and repeat them in English or Japanese. Allow yourself to feel the vibration of the words. Notice if they impact your breath, or body in any way. You may feel your breath deepen, muscles and joints relax, or heart soften.
3. Contemplate the Meaning of One Precept at a Time
For example, you may take one week to seek the meaning of “Just for today, I will do my work honestly.” Ask yourself, “How can I be more diligent? Am I speaking my truth? Do I live in my authenticity? What areas of my life need transparency?”
When working with any philosophy, it’s essential that you develop your own meaning and relationship with what’s passed down to you. This will make engaging with the Precepts more personable.
4. Make Your Actions Mirror Your New Beliefs
You can make your practice tangible by gifting a compliment or putting away work when the ego tells you that you have more to accomplish. Endless actions throughout the day can demonstrate compassion, gratitude, surrender, forgiveness, and honesty.
You may have an authentic and vulnerable conversation that you’ve been putting off. You may give your body the attention and love that it needs by taking a nap. Allow your actions to mirror the new beliefs that you’re establishing.
When the Precepts are practiced daily, in both seemingly significant and insignificant ways, you build your ability to release anger and worry. Your ability to exercise gratitude, authenticity, and kindness will strengthen as you check in with your mind and heart, recite the Precepts, contemplate their meaning, and let them influence your patterns. Dr. Usui’s Reiki philosophy is simple and realistic enough to direct your mindset and behavior.